I’m sure all of us saw the world quite differently as teenagers. After all, we were immature and inexperienced at life. But it’s during that time of immaturity and inexperience that we all make those big decisions that catapulted us into where we are today. As we provide guidance for our children or other teens we care about, we may need to remind them of some basic life principles they might not otherwise understand.
The Nature of Choices
Your choices today limit your choices tomorrow. The natural result of choices can mean that even though teens are often given understanding due to their youth, the results of even youthfully foolish pranks can wreak havoc on their future financial, educational, and social situation. Especially with social networking, sowing immature choices can mean reaping devastating results.
The Biblical principle of sowing and reaping is not something that coordinates well with our instant-gratification society, but it still rings true. Being lazy in high school classes can eliminate the chances for scholarships, which can shortchange a bright young person of a good education and financial freedom to pursue passions after graduation.
The Purpose of Education
There’s a twofold purpose of higher education, and often young people make choices about what they plan to do after graduation with tunnel vision of only one of those main purposes. First (and, I would argue, primarily), the point is to advance your outlook and experiences and broaden your understanding of various topics and issues. When students show disregard for this concept, they’re tempted to skip classes unnecessarily, daydream or otherwise tune out during lectures, and study as little as possible, as long as they make decent grades.
For those whose bent is to be scholarly and passionate, the second point can easily become shunned: becoming equipped for a specific career. The chosen career should provide financial support for a person and dependents. Contrary to some, such a goal is reasonable and even noble. In fact, we could argue that it’s biblical, as well (1 Timothy 5:8).
The Reward of Hard Work
Whether it’s the temptation to study as little as possible or to rely on Mom and Dad for continual support, the tendency to be lazy is one that marks many Millennials. Even if a job does not pay well, hard work is honorable. Even if no paid work is available, contributing to society honors God and brings satisfaction. In fact, a good work ethic cannot be motivated simply by the promise of financial gain; materialism is not a Scriptural aim. Instead, being able to not be a burden on others and then generously give to the work of Christ and those around us is something for which to aim.
As we help today’s young people grasp some basic principles about how God designed life to work, hopefully they will be able to gain the reward of knowing theirs has been a life well-lived.